Will Fletcher is St. Dom’s boy’s hockey team’s second leading scorer. He is a freshman.

AUBURN — For the past couple of seasons, the St. Dominic Academy boys’ hockey team has received major contributions from freshmen.

This year is no different.

Will Fletcher, one of those first-year finishers, is the team’s second leading scorer with eight goals and eight assists for his fourth-seeded, 8-10 Saints.

“That’s what I have been told by my coaches, that normally in the past, it’s been more of the upperclassmen making the impact,” Fletcher said. “This year as an underclassmen being able to contribute is a big part (to our success).”

He was able to lean on Reese Farrell, a freshmen on last year’s team who led the team in scoring with 10 goals and 25 assists. Farrell has since moved on to North Yarmouth Academy, but he did provide Fletcher with some tips on moving up to high school hockey.

“I’ve known him since I was playing youth (hockey),” Fletcher said. “Seeing how he did in his freshmen year, I tried to fit that and do what he did when he left.”

The two won a junior high school state title together in 2015 at St. Dom’s.

Before Fletcher and Farrell, there was Gavin Bates who jumped in and made an impact from the blue line two seasons ago. Bates is now at Kents Hill. Other players who have made an impact as freshmen include Brad Berube, and current assistant coach Richard Paradis, who won the Travis Roy Award as a senior.

Mark Anthoine and Jake Rutt both had an impact as freshmen at St. Dom’s, as well, before ultimately playing at the University of Maine. Eric Bonawitz logged minutes on the blue line before playing New England junior hockey and then skating one season with the Lewiston Maineiacs.

Fletcher started his high school career strong, putting up half of his points in his first five games. He had two point games against Thornton Academy, Edward Little — twice — and Bangor. He scored the only goal against Cheverus in a 6-1 loss.

He credits the veterans who got him off to a hot start.

“Justin (Keaney) and Noah (Toussaint), because I started off on (Noah’s) line at the beginning of the season,” Fletcher said. “He showed me how to start and put the puck in the net.”

Toussaint leads the team in scoring with 15 goals and eight assists.

Coach Bobby Parker agreed the upperclassmen have been a key to Fletcher’s success.

“It’s pretty important because it’s one thing to have a coach talking to you or your other coaches talking to you when you are a young guy,” Parker said. “To have the more mature, experienced players guiding you and teaching you the dos and don’ts and laying the foundation for him to be a successful four-year high school hockey player.”

After the first five games, he hit what can only be described as “the rookie wall,” going pointless in his next eight games. The Saints lost seven of those eight games. They are 6-3 when he records at least a point. However, no one is pointing the finger at Fletcher for the team’s struggles during that stretch.

“I don’t think there’s one specific thing you can pinpoint, but I just think as a team during that time we had a couple tough losses,” Keaney, one of the team’s captains, said. “The two to Lewiston and Falmouth, and it really got down on everybody. I think he took it pretty hard to himself. I think that’s what it mostly what was. I think we found out as a team that it’s not going to be that easy.”

Parker said Fletcher did other things on the ice during his eight game pointless streak.

“As a freshmen, it’s going to very difficult to be consistent on a nightly basis,” Parker said. “Being a freshman, you are going to have your success here and there. It depends who you are playing, who’s your linemates are that particular night. You mention what may not end up in the score sheet, a lot of mental learning was going on in that particular juncture which makes you a better hockey player.”

More importantly not only has his offense game has grown this season, but he has grown as a person also.

“He has come a long way,” Keaney said. “It started with summer hockey and we hung out during the summer and even during golf season before hockey started, I have seen him come a long way. He definitely has matured in the way he treats people. I don’t know how to put it, he learned how to respect people a lot over the last year. He know he has a role on this team and he has embraced it.”

The Saints start the postseason today against the Poland/Leavitt/Oak Hill/Gray-New Gloucester Kings in the Class A North quarterfinals. The Saints defeated the Kings 3-1 in their lone regular season game on Feb. 11. Fletcher notched an assist on the game’s opening goal.

[email protected]

Comments are not available on this story.